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The story of Cinderella is one that has been known for many years. It has been passed down and told in different scenarios, different time periods, with cultural twists, and even modified endings. The story of Cinderella is one of power. It is simple to say that the helpless little girl is once again rescued by her Prince Charming, but there has always been a different meaning behind this story. There is a message of a young girl that finds herself after living a life full of struggles. In all of the many portrayals of Cinderella, the characters show how they overcame their sufferings through their positive attitudes, their good friends, and their supportive love interests.
People always say that it is necessary to maintain a positive attitude no matter what happens. This idea of maintaining a positive attitude has always been taught and spread as a part of society’s culture. This topic has appeared in people’s lives everywhere, and even constantly influences people through movies and novels. This is visible in the development of Cinderella in the Disney adapted movie, which is just like the original fairy tale from the past: with the interweaving of dreams and beauty, and a kind and tough heart, which always shows Cinderella’s attitude towards life like a rising sun from beginning to end. When she was bullied and hurt, she always stood firm in her heart and attitude and encouraged herself with one sentence: ‘Have courage and be kind.’ Bruno Bettelheim evaluated the role of Cinderella: “The obligation to hold on to the best in one’s past; to cultivate one’s sense of morality; to remain true to one’s values despite adversity; not to permit oneself to be defeated by the malice or nastiness of others–all this is so obvious in ‘Cinderella’.” Cinderella’s story undoubtedly confirms that a person with a positive attitude can always find reasons for persistence in various adversities. A person’s attitude will determine the outcome of things, and making a positive decision is the beginning of success, which is reflected incisively and vividly in the story of Cinderella. For positive people like Cinderella, every day is a new beginning. They are full of hope and enthusiasm for life, ready to face setbacks, and constantly challenge themselves.
A challenge many people face is the impact of a sad childhood, which hinders the growth of a positive attitude. In the minds of successful people, there are no such unsure questions as ‘Is it possible? Can we do it?’ They believe that they can do it and they will succeed. Such a determined and positive attitude stems from a confident and mature mindset. Sometimes the mature mentality comes from the influence of a sad childhood. Linda Austin stated that the destruction of the family ends the peace of childhood and crosses the boundaries of the early stages of life, which forces the advancement of children’s understanding of the larger world. However, the end of childhood is not an intrinsic organic growth; children mature by successfully adapting to what people call an “environment” and build and repair relationships. In the novel Cinder, sad and lonely childhood memories help Cinder grow and mature, and gain a positive attitude towards life and challenges. A sad childhood can help people shape a mature mindset and help them develop a positive attitude to some extent. However, whether to choose a positive attitude or to choose a negative attitude towards life, the decision is up to the individual. In the story, Cinder – after her sad and lonely childhood – still chose to live positively; she even helped many people with her positive attitude. These people with a mature mindset and a positive attitude control everything; they choose to face whatever comes their way and endure the consequences. They know themselves and are confident in who they are.
Positive attitudes are also influenced by self-exploration, self-awareness, self-reflection. This is always easy when people talk about others. But when they try to understand themselves, explore themselves, and reflect on themselves, it is like solving a puzzle. Thomas Cottle pointed out: “Psychoanalysts like Klein reminds us that even fully mature people who choose to explore their psychic contents fiercely battle their own stated desires and intentions. They find it painful to locate those roads, much less travel down them toward their genuine being. They fear they will disappoint someone, be abandoned, discover that they are unintelligent or weren’t loved or wanted, or that they themselves cannot love or be loved.” It is undoubtedly difficult to understand one’s self further because once people have an inherent impression of themselves, it is difficult to change. Just like Mia in the movie The Princess Diaries, she could not abandon her own original impression at first, which led her to refuse her new identity – a princess. Mia later overcame the difficulties. She understood herself, affirmed herself, and became positive. Cottle concluded: ‘It is the world turned on itself, mud hence it is the world of self-exploration, self-knowing, self-reflection, and most assuredly the world of personal attention to self and identity.’ As people learn more about themselves, their goals will become clearer, and they will know how to achieve their goals. As they learn more about themselves, they also know how to improve their outlook on life and values, which can help them gain and consolidate positive attitudes. In Meyer’s Cinder, because she is a cyborg, most people do not like her and treat her so bad, especially her foster family. However, good friends can help her overcome the challenges. That will cause Cinder has traumatic memory because of her growing environment. Kertzer said, “First, when we refer to trauma, do we understand it as a synonym for fear or suffering, or does it imply something worse? Secondly, if the trauma is the latter, what does this reveal about our perception of the world?”. Because Cinder is a cyborg, her foster family does not treat her very well, and other people despise her. These things will cause her to feels suffering. According to Cinder, “She was a cyborg, and she would never go to a ball”. This is evidence that people despise Cinder, and they think she can not do anything. For example, I had a friend when I was in elementary school; her parents beat her because her grades were not good. Recently, I heard something about her, which was she never back home. I think my friend has a traumatic memory because of her family. Fountrinately, Cinder has many good friends to help her to overcome these challenges. For example, Iko is one of Cinder’s friend, and he helped her a lot. According to the book, “She would hope Iko would be back soon with its replacement”. Because Cinder needs a new foot, Iko helps her to find a new one that can replace her old one. Also, Iko knows Cinder is a cyborg, but he treats her very well. In my opinion, good friends should help each other and ignore the lousy background because people cannot determine their family. Also, good friends should help each other overcome challenges.
In the Disney movie, Cinderella has the same situation with Cinder because both of them live with their step-family. Especially for Cinderella, she had the right family before her father died. This psychological gap of her family is easy to cause trauma in her mind. However, she has an ability that can communicate with animals that help her to do the chores together, and she has a good friend, Fairy Godmother who helps her a lot. According to Walker, “The reconciliation of these philosophical and psychological definitions justifies the conclusion that mutual positive regard and mutual concern and willingness to act for the good of the other for the other’s sake are essential features of friendship.” For example, in the Disney movie Cinderella, her stepmother asks her to do a lot of housework in the first few hours of the dance that causes her cannot go to the dance because she can sing songs to call her animal friends, who helped her to do the housework together. They had a good time to do this housework. Even though they finished the housework, Cinderella still could not go to the dance because she did not have a dress. However, Fairy Godmother showed up and helped her to go to the dance, by giving her a dress, a pair of crystal shoes, and transportation. In the Disney movie Cinderella, the biggest challenge is this dance and her friends help her to go to the dance. If without her friends, she cannot go to the dance and meet the Princes, and she may not have a happy ending at the end of the story. Therefore, good friends know your needs and help you to become a better person. Also, they can help you to have a happy life.
In Disney’s interpretation of Cinderella, she is stuck in a house with a step-mother and step-sisters that treat her like a servant. Cinderella is desperate to go to the ball so that she too is able to meet the Prince. When Cinderella is granted her wish to go to the ball through the help of her friends and her fairy godmother, she immediately thinks about meeting the Prince and the possibility of them falling in love. There is a certain rarity about Cinderella and the other girls that are attending the ball. When she walks into the room she is able to captivate everyone’s attention and even stir jealousy within the crowd of women. Cinderella was able to meet the Prince and dance with him until she had to return home when the clock struck midnight. The intercation that Cinderella had with the Prince sparked hope in her. For such a long time Cinderella had to live as if she was less than any other human being. As if she too was not allowed to live a fulfilling life, and was worth more than what she lived believing. Although Cinderella fell in love with the Prince, he was also the chance for her to escape the dreadful reality she was unable to break free from. When the Prince is on the hunt for the girl he met at the ball with the missing slipper, Cinderella is excited because this could be her chance at a new life. Her dreams are crushed when her step-mother and step-sisters do not allow her to even leave her room when the Prince arrives. All of Cinderella’s dreams were put to an abrupt stop and she knew that her family would always have a tight grasp on her life. Eventually though, the Prince was able to get Cinderella to come down and try on the shoe, which fit perfectly. Everything that Cinderella wished for finally became a reality.
Cinder is a very culturally different piece. It has a twist to it that makes it unique to the other Cinderella folklore pieces. They all come together though because all of the versions of Cinderella’s character feel like they are different from others. They are not as easily accepted as others may be. In Cinder, she is a cyborg and her love interest is the Prince. The Prince is not a cyborg and there is a structure to their social system. Cyborgs do not have rights and are not seen as full people. It is difficult for the Prince and for Cinder to end up together, especially because he betrayed her in the end and gave her up to the evil characters in this story. Although the love interest did not end up with Cinder, she was able to grow as a person and see her worth and strength because of all of the things she went through.
To summarize, all of these distinct versions of Cinderella have a commonality among them. They are all women that have a desire to be worth something in life. They do not want to be different anymore, and they most certainly do not want to be mistreated. That is not only a commonality between the different versions of this folklore, but also among society. No one wants to be an outcast or be mistreated. That is way people can relate to this folklore. As Richard Bauman stated, “… the discipline of folklore emerged just at the time that traditional folk society, as ideally conceived, was recognized as a declining way of life under the impact of technological and economic change.” The world continues to change, but folklore will always be a part of life that people can always go back and relate to.
In conclusion, positive attitudes, good friends and supportive love interests all have important positions in portrayals of Cinderella’s life. These support them to overcome the difficulties in life and eventually she has a happy life. As a long-lasting fairy tale story, it has its own uniqueness, which affects generation after generation. Also, it teaches people having positives attitudes, making good friends, and finding the true loves in their lives. There is an old saying in China that the sun is always after the storm, so people need to face their challenges and tried their best to overcome challenges. In contemporary society, people’s minds are too impetuous because there are too many things that to distract them. Some obvious truths become very vivid and close our lives in fairy tales, that use symbolic and metaphor to show valuable behaviors and truths in our lives. Therefore, people should have time to read some fairy tales stories to improve the quality of their lives.
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